Life Stories of Pre-Service Teachers: Bids, Invitations, Resistance and Redemption, and the Hidden Alliance of Blessers




Porter, Thomas Alan

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The purpose of this study is to examine how pre-service teachers' negative and/or positive life stories inform their future teaching practices.

This study used Gee's (2000) theoretical work on identity, particularly his concepts of bids and invitations; and McAdams and Bowman's (2001) empirical study from life story research, focusing on the concepts of negative (contamination) and positive (redemption) sequences and generativity, the move from self-concern to concern for others, to theorize that: as protagonists in their life stories, pre-service teachers indicate to other characters how they use their funds of knowledge (Moll, et al, 1992) and community cultural wealth (Yosso, 2005) to make bids, or attempts, to be recognized in positive ways and how their attempts or bids get recognized positively and negatively. Analyzing and cross-comparing 16 pre-service teachers' stories, a major finding was that pre-service teachers gained a secret, privileged knowledge through interaction with others at home or in their community, sometimes after being negatively identified and treated, that allowed them to endure, persist, and to become resilient to act on their own and others' behalf. This Sacred Trust, established between parents and children, students and teachers, and students and their friends, etc. can help pre-service teachers become aware of how they have been negatively treated according to deficit teaching models, and positively treated according to models of wealth.

The research questions this study explored were: What is the nature of pre-service teachers' stories about schools? How do pre-service teachers perceive the potential impact of these school experiences on their future teaching?


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Alliance, Bids and Invitations, Blessers, Life Story, Narrative, Redemption, Story Elements



Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching